Average. Regular. Unremarkable. Mediocre. Middle-of-the-road. Unexciting.
Pardon my French, but these are some of the words that come to mind when describing the Washington Wizards this season.
At 40-30 and in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, with exception of a few games and few individual performances here and there, nothing the Wizards have done this season has blown me away.
Granted, Wizards fans were a bit spoiled. After being bottom-of-the-barrel for so long, finally breaking out and making it to the playoffs last year made hoops enthusiasts sold on Washington's odds to bring an NBA title back to the nation's capital.
As the regular season draws to a close, the Wizards still have a ton of questions to answer. Sure, where they are now compared to five years ago is like night and day, they need to hop off the roller coaster of being the great team we know they are capable of and the average one we are accustomed to - and get some consistency under their belt for the playoffs.
Tonight is a place to start, eh? /rant
When and where? Last late night game of the season, folks! Catch them in action against the Golden State Warriors at 10:30 p.m. EST, from Oracle Arena in Oakland. The game is on both CSN Washington and NBATV. Join the #radioparty on 99.1 FM, too.
Who's out? The Wizards are missing Kris Humphries, still out with a groin injury. Looks like Garrett Temple is off the injury report, too. John Wall is listed as day to day, probably lingering from his sprained ankle last week. Klay Thompson is expected to miss his fourth straight game for the Warriors.
NBA Elite? If there were ever a team to want to emulate, it's the Warriors. Golden State continues to run laps around the rest of the NBA. As winners of their last five (and nine of their last 10), they've averaged 110.7 points. At home, they average 113.2 points per game ... Which is probably why they have only lost two in Oakland. They also are beating opponents by an average of 15.3 points per game at home.
Overall though, it is hard not to swoon at the Warriors, who do everything way, way, WAY above average. They rank first in assists per game (27.3) and points per game (109.7), while ranking eighth in rebounds per game (44.3). The only thing the Wizards have them beat at is defense: Golden State allows 99.3 points per game (14th) compared to Washington's 97.5 (7th).
Running through the WEST with my WOES? No, this isn't a new version of the Drake hit, but rather, the Wizards' latest playlist. They're on a two game losing streak, playing horrible defense in those two losses - the Clippers shot 52.3 percent from the field against them, while the Kings shot 50.6 percent. They have also lost 11 of 13 on the road and are currently 1-2 on this four-game Western Conference road swing. In the first game of this season between the Wizards and Warriors, Curry dropped 32 points. But that wasn't the problem- Washington turned the ball over 26 times compared to Golden State's nine. The last time Washington was in Oakland (Jan. 28, 2014), they won 88-85 - though it was their only victory in the last eight meetings. That was then, this is now.
Who vs. Who? Obviously John Wall vs. any point guard is a matchup to watch, but I'm eyeing Bradley Beal tonight. He has been *insert fire emoji here* hot the past few games. Having Justin Holiday guard him will be the matchup he should take huge advantage of. Hopefully, Wall can get him going - but more importantly, he can get Wall going.